PHD in ESL TESOL Doctorate Programs & Grad Schools

Professional instructors of English as a second language may wish to earn a PhD in ESL TESOL. A doctoral degree in education is typically meant for practicing educators who want to learn about education theory and research within their specialty, and how to apply it.

ESL TESOL Doctorate Program Information

Earning your Doctorate in ESL TESOL

If you have the desire to learn more about education theory and research as it relates to the area of ESL (English as a Second Language)/TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages), then earning a doctorate in ESL/TESOL may be an option might want to consider.

PhD in ESL TESOL programs are designed to help prepare higher education ESL teachers, teacher educators, supervisors, administrators, researchers and curriculum/materials developers to pursue careers in an industry that is expected to keep growing into the future. But more importantly, they are designed to help prepare students to be able to research all facets of ESL/TESOL and to formally prepare ESL teachers.

PhD in ESL TESOL Programs

Many of the doctoral level programs you’ll find in universities across the country are associated with a school’s department of English, linguistics or education. Students who are interested in earning a PhD in ESL TESOL should research the various programs available to them and then decide what type of doctoral degree is best suited to their needs.

A PhD in TESOL, a PhD in Applied Linguistics or an EdD in ESL are three options that may be available to students, but there are other variations of doctorate degrees that you may want to explore.

Some colleges offer a PhD in education with a TESOL certification. In other schools you can take the school’s language, literacy and culture concentration. This type of program leads to a PhD in language, literacy and culture, with a TESOL specialization, while other universities offer doctoral degrees in curriculum and instruction with a specialization in TESOL.

Teaching Goals of Doctorate Programs in ESL TESOL

The goals of Doctorate programs in ESL/TESOL are based on providing students with the knowledge and skills to oversee ESL programs, conduct the research, or teach at the university level.

There are other teaching goals that are equally important to remember as you study for your doctorate in ESL/TESOL and that many colleges and universities follow as they educate or train students to respect and appreciate all languages and cultures. They include the following:

  • Provide students with a strong knowledge base in TESOL theory, second language acquisition, and applied linguistics research.
  • Have students apply TESOL and second language acquisition theory and research to TESOL methodology.
  • Ensure that they can understand and evaluate the professional literature that has been published on TESOL.
  • Have students conduct and evaluate original field research and then present their findings.
  • Have them acquire a deep understanding of the role of linguistics in TESOL and the impact of the social and cultural factors that need to be considered when learning and teaching a second language.
  • Provide students with a strong knowledge base in TESOL program design, development and evaluation.
  • Help them develop the knowledge and skills to design, implement and evaluate teacher-training programs for ESL instructors.
  • Teach them how to integrate technology into TESOL instruction and learning.
  • Encourage them to be advocates of the TESOL profession.

Why Study for a PhD in ESL TESOL?

Pursuing a PhD in ESL TESOL may prove to be a worthwhile endeavor if you are truly interested in the science behind second language acquisition and learning in detail the teaching and learning techniques that are essential to this specialized area of education. If you already hold a master’s degree in ESL/TESOL, the next logical step may be to earn that PhD.

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